Tamas Rudas
Term: Fall 1994
Department of Political Science, Budapest

Course Summary:

The course is tailored to the needs of students who have no background in statistics. The material is divided into three parts: descriptive statistics, probability, and mathematical statistics. Upon successful completion of the course the students will gain a clear understanding of the main methods of data collection, description, and analysis. The students will be able to read critically results of a sample survey or of an opinion poll, and to understand the meaning of the results and the extent to which these results apply to the whole population.

The first section of the course, covering the descriptive statistics part, will include topics such as levels of measurement, populations and samples, parameters of location and of dispersion, the concepts of contingency and independence, one- and two-way layouts with or without interaction, regression and correlation as descriptive techniques.

The second section of the course, covering probability, will include the concepts of experiment, outcome, event, algebra of events, axioms of probability, and discrete and continuous probability distributions (binomial and normal).

The third section, covering mathematical statistics and using the concepts of probability theory, will revisit most of the techniques considered in the descriptive statistics part. These methods are applied to data from a sample and are investigated from the point of view of estimation and hypothesis testing. Estimates of probabilities, expected values, variances, and of correlation coefficients are considered, as well as tests of hypotheses about binomial probabilities, normal expected values, and independence of categorical variables. Finally, the methods of one- and two-way analysis of variance and regression are considered.

Students are expected to do regular homework using the SPSS-PC package in the computer laboratory. Students' performance will be evaluated on the bases of the quality of their in-class activity (10%), written homework (30%), and three in-class tests (60%). The first test (10%) will be taken on September 29, the second (20%) on November 8, and the third (30%) on December 16. No retakes will be given.

Digitized version prepared by the Curriculum Resource Center (CRC)
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Revised: April, 1996


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